NEW DELHI: To help developing countries fight the COVID-19 outbreak better, the World Bank has approved a first set of emergency support operations. The first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries. India is the biggest beneficiary, with an allocation $1 billion. Pakistan comes a distant second ($200 mn) followed by Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Iran, one of the worst affected nations in terms of COVID-19 infections and deaths, finds no mention. South Africa, the worst affected among African nations in terms of the number of cases (over 1300) and Algeria that comes next (with over 500 cases and 30 deaths) are missing from the list. But Ethiopia that has a little over 20 cases has got the maximum allocation among African countries ($82 mn). It’s a coincidence that WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is Ethiopian.
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